We’ve been talking about the Why’s and How’s of Giving Thanks. So far we’ve discovered that God is to be passionately praised and incessantly thanked regardless of our circumstances. But how is that possible? Because thanks and praise must be based on something other than our circumstances.
Today I want to give you another “Why we praise” and another “How to praise” from Psalm 100. Enjoy.
Psalm 100:1-3 NKJV 1Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Why #3 (What He has done) – We thank and praise God because He cares for us
Notice the end of verse three says we are “the sheep of His pasture.” God not only created us and chose us but he cares for us. This is where the loving nurturing father comes in. We need a Father. We need a shepherd. We are God’s children, God’s sheep. Neither sheep nor children always do wise things.
A couple of weeks ago, we were cleaning off my son’s dresser and he wanted to get rid of the pumpkin that had been there since October. But instead of properly disposing of it like we asked him to, he threw it off our second floor porch onto the driveway. The next day when pulling out, I ran over it with my car. I thought I had a flat but when I got out to inspect, there lay the pumpkin – smashed all over the driveway. Luckily it didn’t land on my neighbor’s brand new car! Like any father would do, I made him clean it up. He created more work for himself by not listening. Before you laugh too hard, remember we are children of God and we do some stupid things to. We need a father; we need a shepherd.
Sheep are similar to children in many ways. Recently, I heard a story about how modern-day shepherds in Ireland deal with their sheep. Occasionally, the sheep will go down over a steep embankment to graze on a patch of lush grass. When finished, they realize they can’t get back up. Instead of rescuing them right away, the shepherd will instead leave them until they grow a little gaunt and hungry. When he feels they have learned their lesson, he will lower a harness and rescue the sheep. They do this so the sheep won’t do it again. We are those sheep and sheep need care. This should invoke thanksgiving and praise in us. The fact that He cares for us, helps us, saves us and protects us.
How #3 – Know that He is God.
We need to ascertain God. We need to see and perceive Him clearly as He reveals Himself to us, instructs us and as we observe Him. God is always trying to reveal Himself to us if we are paying attention. I wonder how many times we miss God right in front of us. Ask Him to give you spiritual eyes to see. To open the eyes of your understanding. To pull back the veil. If we really want to know Him, He is quite willing and happy to let us in. As we get to know Him and as He reveals Himself to us, it will invoke praise and thanksgiving in us. We can’t get to know God without this happening. Then we will praise Him with joyful shouts, with happy service and with heartfelt singing.
So today, take some time. Get to know Him. Praise Him for who He is and what He has done. Let it settle in. He cares for you. He is watching over you. He knows every detail of your life. He is willing to help you.
Take some time to offer Him thanksgiving and praise right now.